Social media influencer and boxer Jake Paul beat UFC fighter Nate Diaz in a boxing match on Saturday, but it was their ugly homophobic comments in prefight comments that were the real story.
In a news conference late last week, Diaz and Paul took turns unleashing anti-gay remarks to the other, with the crowd laughing along and moderator Ariel Helwani not doing anything in the moment to admonish them.
First up was Diaz, who spewed this bit of vulgarity toward Derek Sullivan, an employee of Paul, after Sullivan told Diaz that Paul would knock him out.
“Hey, bring this little b*tch up here,” Diaz said to Sullivan. “Get him the f**k out here. They are lacking respect, all the p*****s in your f****g faggot’s camp, motherf***r. That’s the problem... This guy is influencing the f*****g Island gay boys because they are mother f****s like you b*tch. You are the f*****g bad guy, and this little f**k right here needs his a** whipped.”
This is the same Diaz who was suspended in 2013 by the UFC for calling a fellow fighter a “fag” on Twitter. He clearly hasn’t changed.
In the news conference, both fighters were asked by Helwani: “Gentlemen, every great story has a hero and a villain, in this situation, who is the good guy and who is actually the bad guy?”
Diaz’s response? “Jake’s the gay guy.”
Paul then said: “Yes sir, I’m going to grab your cheeks in the ring on Saturday night. Everybody look out, I’m grabbing his cheeks.”
Not to be outdone in the homophobia department, Paul said he would sexually assault Diaz when he was asked a hypothetical.
Q: What happens if the two of you meet on a dark street and there’s nobody around?
Paul: “Imma bend him over and fuck him like a cowboy. Goddamn right.”
Both fighters should be ashamed of themselves, but that’s expecting a lot from two meatheads who have devoted fan bases and figure they are immune to criticism. There have been several out boxers and MMA has come a good ways in terms of LGBTQ visibility, with many out female fighters.
But Jeff Molina, who came out as bi earlier this year, is the only out male pro UFC fighter we know of. Ignorant comments from high-profile people like Diaz and Paul, who equate being gay and male-to-male sex with weakness and submission, would give any MMA athlete pause. Paul might have won Saturday night, but he and Diaz were both losers where it matters.